The “rocket science” behind the bowling action of Jasprit Bumrah


Jasprit Bumrah developed a unique action while playing on an over congested ground that did not have enough space so that he could have a long run-up. The need to generate pace coupled with the short run-up is probably the reason behind him continuing with it.

While most of us are in absolute awe with the cricketer, one professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) went a step ahead and decided to decode the truth behind his lethality on the cricket pitch.

The fast bowler caught the eye of the world in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he was playing for Mumbai Indians and has gradually grown into the backbone of Indian pace battery. Proclaimed at the best bowler of the white ball in the world cricket at present, he bowls consistently at the pace of 145 kmph. He is also credited for most of India’s success in taking wickets and coming back into the match in the death overs. There is little doubt that he is the king of the fast bowlers in the world with those deadly yorkers.

Professor Sanjay Mittal of the Aerospace Engineering Department, IIT Kanpur dwelled deeper into the secret behind Bumrah’s unique action. He also claimed that there is certain ‘rocket science’ behind his action because of which he is gaining such success.

The above picture explains that the speed of the ball is increased due to backspin. This figure also shows the exact movement of the ball. Actually, the movement of the ball caused the formation of the boundary layer (the thin layer around the ball). Hence, the use of the Magnus Effect and Reverse Magnus Effect were instrumental behind controlling the movement of the ball.

The Professor also explains that these effects result in the generation of backspin which is the actual reason behind his success. The ball follows the reverse Magnus effect (as seen in figure 2) which creates a dip and causes the unexpected bounce, because of which Bumrah is able to deceive batsman. This accompanied by his unusual action leaves the batsman stunned.

Well, whether this is the only reason or not, we don’t know. And honestly, I find no reason to debate on this. Let’s appreciate the science behind his bowling and pray that his form continues through the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 as well.


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